KARACHI - Stocks Monday closed flat amid major fall in global equities and crude prices after major oil producers fail to agree output freeze. The benchmark index declined 7 points (down 0.02%) to close at 33759.97 points.

The market closed on a flattish note today as the retreat of international oil prices after a failure of global producers to agree on a production floor led local E&P companies down, dealers said.

Major laggards today were OGDC down 1.23%, PPL 1.06% and POL declined 1.80%, respectively.

Volume decreased by 19% to 156mn shares while value decreased by 13% at Rs 7.3bn/US70$mn).

The banking sector gained led by Habib Bank up 0.74% which became the first South Asian bank to get permission to set up a branch in China’s city of Urumqi which borders Pakistan along the traditional Silk Route. Fauji Cement down 1.29% saw profit taking after announcing 9months EPS of PKR3.14 which was in line with market expectation, observed analyst Ahmed Saeed Khan.

The refining sector continued to outperform led by Attock Refinery rose 5% as the company was the first unit to complete isomerization of its plant which should help it to produce more motor oil gas which is a high margin product.

SNGP has been allowed return on RLNG which led the stock to close at their upper limit. Interest was also seen in SSGC which closed up at 5%.

Speculations in selected blue chip scrips in the quarter end earning season supported the index to close above days low, stated analyst Ahsan Mehanti.

Foreign outflows, weak global equities and falling crude prices played a catalyst role in the bearish close at PSX, brokers said.